WTVR: Spanberger honors 9-year-old killed in Richmond park on House floor


Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-7th district) took to the floor of the U.S. House on Friday to remember the life of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson, who was shot and killed during a community cookout at a Richmond park.

Dickson, described as a feisty third-grader who loved to dance, was an innocent bystander when she was shot and killed when shots rang out at Fonticello/Carter Jones Park on May 26.

“She was an energetic, kind, and spunky nine-year-old girl,” said Spanberger. “She was a beloved daughter and an adored sister.”

In the speech, the congresswoman spoke about Markiya’s legacy as she promised to continue her own efforts to advance gun safety legislation.

“This senseless, cruel act of gun violence took Markiya’s life,” said Spanberger.

“Together, we share her story, we mourn her death, and we promise to fight for a safer community for all children.”

Spanberger also honored Dickson’s parents for their commitment to ending gun violence.

Police are still searching for the people who killed Markiya.

The FBI has offered a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting. Any individual with relevant information is encouraged to contact the FBI at 804-261-1004 or go to tips.fbi.gov.

Full transcript:

I rise today to tell the story of Markiya Simone Dickson. She was an energetic, kind, and spunky nine-year-old girl.

She was a beloved daughter and an adored sister. She was in 3rd grade, and she was preparing to sing a Justin Bieber song in her school’s upcoming talent show.

On May 26, 2019, Markiya and her family attended a community picnic in Richmond, Virginia. And from across the park, a random gunshot went through the crowd—and this senseless, cruel act of gun violence took Markiya’s life.

During and since this unimaginable time, Markiya’s parents—Mark Whitfield and Ciara Dickson—have demonstrated extraordinary strength, determination, and courage.

They continue fighting to ensure Markiya’s name and her beautiful life are never forgotten. And they stand by their steadfast wish to fight back against gun violence in our communities—so that other parents will never have to experience the pain they feel following Markiya’s death.

Markiya was beloved by those who knew her, and the Richmond, Virginia community stands with her family at this time.

Together, we share her story, we mourn her death, and we promise to fight for a safer community for all children.



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